Monday, August 13, 2007

This Day in History

Exactly three years to the day yesterday, I was sitting on the metro from Syntagma to the airport, fretting as I watched the airport bus whizz by and realising that by taking the metro, I had made myself late for my very first training day as an Olympics volunteer.

I got to the airport and me and fellow stragglers took the bus to the Marcopolo centre where we were based.

By the time I got there, training was over and everyone was sitting in the cafeteria eating the hideous free lunches provided to volunteers. “Rubbish!” I thought, “what a way to make an impression on your first day.” I was apologising profusely to everyone and anyone.

“Don’t worry,” the head of the centre said. “You didn’t miss anything that important. Anyway, tonight we’ll all go out in Syntagma and you can get to know your team better.”

For those of you who are interested, no, I did not ‘get to know my team better’ that night in the Biblical sense. We went out, we all enjoyed some good clean fun, and we returned the day after the opening ceremony to pitch in as a team with the excellent management of the head of our centre, who not only hand picked his team to create an international mix, but also made sure everyone was regularly moved around to limit time under the sun or separation from friends.

The head of the centre was Mr Zeus. Much later, he told me that he stole me from the volunteer list destined for another centre, and I was the very last name on his list to complete his selection of volunteers. And the rest is history, muchachos!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow.... I can't believe it was three years ago. Doesn't time just fly...?

I too was a volunteer at the Olympics and you brought back a vivid memory of those 'appetizing' free meals that we recieved.

I never actually wanted to be a volunteer, it was just a case that I had spent Easter 2004 in the company of 'certain people' who were very high up in the ATHOC.

We'd been talking about the upcoming games and it was suggested that I should volunteer as it would be much fun. So me being all nice and polite said "oh that'd be great, I'd love too" and then thought nothing more about it.

Then I recieved a phone call in July to ask if I wanted to go to the Olympic Stadium in Marousi or to the Schinias rowing. I remember thining at the time "uh oh" and said I'd go to the stadium but then when the reply was "tell me what size uniform you want and you can pick it up from my house". I realized there was no turning back so I gave it serious thought and decided to go to Schinias instead.

But despite the 5AM starts, I loved my time as a Olympic volunteer.

It sounds like you did too and that's a great story you shared with us!